Orange you just livid?This dedicated hate mail page, gentle reader, all arose from a single column about yet the latest Agent Orange study that once again shows that while Agent Orange is quite harmful to plants it causes no long-term harm in humans.
New Symptom of Agent Orange: Inability to Find Shift-lock Key
DEAR DISINTERESTED PARTIES AND MR [sic] FUMENTO;
WHAT PLANET ARE YOU ORBITING?
TELL IT TO MY WIFE WHO WATCHES ME DEAL WITH DIABETES, HEART DISEASE, SKIN DISORDERS, KIDNEY PROBLEMS, AND ALL MANNER OF SYMPTOMS THAT DOCTORS "JUST CANT [sic] FIGURE OUT". OKAY, SO I'M OVER 55........SO WHAT, I'M 6' AND 195 POUNDS AND IN EXCELLENT CONDITION, NOT HEALTH. TELL IT TO MY SON AS HE GROWS UP WITH SKIN DISORDERS, ALERGIES, AND PROBLEMS THE DOCTORS "JUST CANT [sic] PUT THEIR FINGER ON". TELL IT TO THE PEOPLE OF VIETNAM. I'VE BEEN BACK AND THE PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH THEIR EXPOSURE TO AGENT ORANGE ARE MONSTROUS. DROP BY THE WAR MUSEUM IN HO CHI MINH CITY AND LOOK AT THE JARS OF ABORTED FETUSES WITH TWO HEADS ETC [sic] ETC [sic]. OR CAN YOU EXPLAIN IT AWAY WITH BIOENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN YOUR BOOK?
I WAS IN THE INFANTRY AND DRANK WATER FROM STREAMS, RIVERS, AND RICE PADDIES THAT FOUND IT'S [sic] SOURCE IN GOD ONLY KNOWS WHERE. ANYBODY THAT SPENT TIME IN THAT COUNTRY, PARTICULARLY WHERE WATER SOURCES MIGHT HAVE BEEN CONTAMINATED, WERE [sic] EXPOSED. RANCH HAND PEOPLE MAY HAVE BEEN THE LEAST CONTAMINATED BECAUSE THEIR WATER CAME FROM WELLS USUALLY FAR INSIDE SAFE LINES WHERE LITTLE SPRAYING TOOK PLACE. MANY ALSO USED PRECAUTIONS AGAINST EXPOSURE BECAUSE THEY WERE WORKING WITH DEFOLIANTS AND WERE TOLD TO PROTECT THEMSELVES.
THE FEDERAL GOVT [sic] BANNED DIOXIN IN THE EARLY 60'S AFTER THE "TIMES BEACH" AFFAIR. THEY OUTLAWED THE USE OF IT IN THE USA AND PURCHASED A TOWN AND MOVED ALL THE RESIDENTS BECAUSE OF EXPOSURE TO DIOXIN. OF COURSE IT DIDN'T STOP OUR LAWMAKERS FROM DUMPING IT ON THEIR OWN CITIZENS SERVING IN A WAR IN ANOTHER COUNTRY.
IF YOU SIR, ARE SO KEEN ON MAKING JEST OF MY DISEASES AND THOSE OF MY COMRADES.........WHY NOT TRY A CUPFUL WITH DINNER TONITE? I WOULD GLADLY TRADE MY FREE DRUGS AND MEDICAL CARE FOR A LIFE WITHOUT MY CURRENT DISEASES AND AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE.
GOD HELP YOU.
Dear "Walking Wounded":
Tell it to someone else. I've written about all of this. If a non-vet or his children get sick or die, well, people get sick and die all the time. But if a vet who has no idea whether he was or wasn't exposed to Agent Orange [or not] or his offspring get sick, then it's clearly AO-related. Your future is no more or less uncertain than anybody else's, you just feel like not[?] taking responsibility for it. You also appear to be a big fan of the government you allegedly fought against, even down to your referral to Saigon as "Ho Chi Minh City." And naturally you ignore all the spraying the North Vietnamese did with dioxin-containing herbicides at the time when everybody was using them. Finally, you simply accept their assertion that all their birth defects are caused by parental exposure to Agent Orange. I'd ask who's side are you on but the answer is obvious.
The Headstone Hypothesis
Michael Fumento's article "More hype than substance to 'Agent Orange'" would be humerous [sic], if he wasn't [sic] so serious. I'll bet his volume of hate mail will rise considerably over the next few days, as well as the News-Gazette's. Someone needs to find and read all the death certificates from Vietnam Veterans [sic] during the 70's & 80's, that were never part of any VA claim or system.
[Toxic boring verbiage omitted.]
Since 1973 the VA has furnished over 6 million headstones to families that requested them for their veterans, these 6 million veterans would firmly dispute yout [sic] claim that serving in the military didn't their [sic] life. War and training for war is a very dangerous business.
At his web site he [Which am I, a "he" or a "you"?] also says that Gulf War Illness is also a myth...oh well.. anything to sell his books, and to sell news papers [sic].
As of Feb. 2003, there where 93,134 dead Desert Storm Veterans [sic] according to the VA.... 93, 134 myths.
IRAQ'S PLAGUES: Typhoid, brucellosis, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, meningitis, hepatitis, cholera - and now childhood leukemia, cancers, "bizarre" birth defects - and now a new "mystery virus" are endemic throughout Iraq. The French parliament now says many babies born in Iraq are "not identifiably human."
In 1972, the VA was still paying approximately $143 Million [sic] dollars a year for disability compensation to veterans of WW 1 [sic] and $1.6 billion to WW II veterans. I am sure Mr. Fumento will write soon to say these veterans of "our greatest" generation (s) are faking it, even without agent [sic] orange [sic]. Mr. Fumento please take one glass of liquid herbicide or pesticide, and call me in the morning.. after all your science say's [sic] it is harmless... don't bother to read the label warnings.
If you were a colonel you must have been making fried chicken. Ah, but where to begin? Vietnam vets are dying at no higher a rate than vets who didn't deploy to Vietnam. Studies also show they are also better adjusted and earn more money than those who did not go to war, which is to say they're less likely to be in homeless shelters or "go postal with an assault rifle" despite media depictions.
You're right, the 93,000 dead Gulf vets is a myth. Originally, I thought you simply pulled that off one of the many conspiracy websites. But I was able to find no reference to it on the Web. I think the only reference is in your brain, no doubt greatly shrunken by exposure to herbicides. Published studies show US and UK Gulf vets are dying at no higher a rate than matched control vets who didn't deploy and only 40 percent the rate of matched civilians. So much for the hazards of being a Gulf vet. In any event, did you see any mention of the Gulf War or so-called "Gulf War Syndrome" in my piece? Didn't think so. You're mixing Gulfs with oranges.
Did you read anything by me saying that nobody in the military ever gets disabled? No. Indeed, you make my point. People are disabled in all wars. How you could not comprehend that, well, I can't comprehend. How you can relate disability from, say, shell shrapnel to Agent Orange and GWS I also cannot comprehend. Perhaps some day I shall rise to your level of wisdom, but obviously not yet.
Finally, "Iraq's plagues" were fiction that Saddam Hussein tried to blame on U.S. military activity in 1991. Essentially every disease any Iraqi suffered was our fault. I'm happy to hear you find Saddam so trustworthy a source. There was also no "mystery virus," but if there were it would have been something that escaped from his own stockpiles of unconventional weapons. The French statement is true - of defective children born in any country. Go to Google, set it on "images," and type in "birth defect." You'll see what I mean.
Finally, there's a group of Ranch Handers that actually meet every year and at least until it was no longer produced made a point of drinking a glass of Agent Orange. You thought you were being sarcastic; instead you were just being dumb.
May God Bless You
Dear Ms. Capps:
Fort Bragg. Yes. Where did you serve?
May God Bless You, Too,
I'm Not a "Bro"! Sniff.
you [sic] show that you were Airborne [sic] in 78 .. how in the world would you know anything about agent [sic] orange [sic] except for some labs printout?
And how dare you pass judgement [sic] on us [sic] vets that were there in the jungles while ranch [sic] hand [sic] was going on!!
I for one think your sarcastic editoral [sic] sucks Bro .... scratch that you dont [sic] qualify to be called an honorable name as Bro!!!!
C/2/27th inf. wolfhounds 67 - 68
Cu Chi VN
What makes you think you know about Agent Orange because you served in Vietnam? Was that part of your training? We were taught more practical things like, oh, firing weapons and squad maneuvers and all that boring stuff. Even if you were exposed, how would that make you an expert in Agent Orange? If you contracted pancreatic cancer tomorrow, would you be an expert in pancreatic cancer? That's the job of scientists, and I laid out the science in my "sarcastic editorial," which wasn't an editorial at all because I'm a columnist. I also passed judgment on no one. I simply said that vets with the highest levels of Agent Orange exposure are as healthy as they should be. You properly interpreted that to mean that if Ranch Handers are fine, then so are vets who aren't Ranch Handers. That means you. Why don't you take pride in your service to your country, instead of seeking victim status instead?
Tony's Been Fed Baloney
The only reason I acknowledge the article is for a point to educate [sic]
There is no sense in writing Hate Mail, because it usually gets deleted. [Apparently, the above line was sent around by "Col. Dan." How Col. Dan would know that I delete most of my hate mail, I cannot say, especially when his use of the term "hate mail" indicates he's aware that I obviously post most of it. Perhaps Agent Orange exposure gives one ESP.] The ones who sprayed, took showers after returning to base. They were exposed, but so were the troops on the ground. Many troops lived in the Bush [George W.?], myself [sic] being one of them. As a Marine in a "Boonie Battalion" not only did we sleep on the ground, and breath [sic] the dust, but in any action there is a lot of dust floating in the air. The water we were so privileged to drink (Pun) [No, not a pun.] came from various sources, mostly from stagnant pools, rice paddies, some Mountain [sic] water, and others. [sic] On some operations the landscape on one side of a river was lush, and green, and yet the other side was barren.
These area's [sic] can expose you to the toxic chemicals even though we didn't spray it. The one question I have for you is, How [sic] good is your confidence? If you are so sure that this is not the problem that is claimed it is, would you be willing to endure the same exposure to the chemical that we have been exposed too [sic]. I would be willing to bet you would back off in a heart beat [sic].
Let me know if you find the time, or if there is no reply I will have to assume you didn't read this or you are not willing to back up your words with your mouth.
P.S. The reason for many vets not suffering the same response as others can be attributed to what they did, and where they lived when they returned. If you want to know more I would be willing to let you know.
Dioxin tests of fat and blood have showed that on average those who served in Vietnam had no more dioxin in their system than the average civilian at that time. In other words, for all the stories about being drenched in an orange liquid from the sky and what-not (Agent Orange was a clear liquid), virtually the only vets with real exposure were the Ranch Handers. That's why they've been studied for 22 years. Yet as I noted in my piece, the Ranch Hand exposure was practically nothing compared to that of herbicide plant workers and the victims of an herbicide plant explosion in Italy. So if the people with massive exposure aren't suffering excess disease, and the Ranch Handers with mid-level exposure aren't, then the guys who humped the boonies weren't. It's that simple and simplicity leads to confidence in one's conclusions. The answer to your question is that although I was only a child in 1968, I was exposed to the same low level of dioxin you were from such sources as soaps and paper bleaching! There's still a bit in both of us, although the amount declines by the year.
Thank you for replying. I was told in an unofficial sort of way from some VA people that those who took up hard physical labor, or worked out vigorously when they returned were self purging themselves of the Toxins [sic] of Agent Orange. I was one of those people. Other [sic] however were not as fortunate. Those working in side jobs, and had more sedentary life styles stored the toxins in their fat tissue (that is one point we agree on). I cannot understand how you would say you were exposed on [sic] the same level as myself. [sic] Did you drink polluted water? did [sic] you sit, lay, sleep in area's [sic] sprayed with the chemical, or are you referring to ditch spraying exposure? Have you seen the Children [sic] in Vietnam with deformities?
I do not wish to argue points as I am no expert, but I do feel that if you were to talk to others with knowledge of studies, that are truly non bias [sic] you will find that you might be of [sic] the mark on this.
No, you cannot "purge" dioxin from your system. It resides in fat and is slowly released into the bloodstream and then out the bladder. Indeed, it stays in fat so long and is released at such a steady rate that it allows people to be measured for dioxin exposure decades after the fact. I can only restate that U.S. civilians were tested for dioxin and found to have the same average level as Vietnam vets. Agent Orange is by no means the only source of dioxin exposure. We're still getting a little even to this day. That's how I know I was exposed and you were exposed, but there's no reason to think you were exposed in Vietnam.
Dioxin is one of the end products of combustion and other man-made and natural processes, and we are exposed to fires when anything burns, including buildings, dumps, forests, etc. There's no way of escaping it. Yes, I've seen pictures of Vietnamese children with deformities. I've also seen pictures of U.S. children with deformities. The difference is that the Communist Vietnamese government claims that each and every deformed child is so only because of the evil Americans, as if Vietnamese kids should be immune from birth defects. I'm sure Hanoi Jane believes that, but why should you? Saddam pulled the same stunt, obviously blaming exposures other than Agent Orange even as he was spraying chemical weapons on his own people.
With Supporters like these, Kerry Can Only Lose
With all that education, I would have thought that you actually would have learned something. You sure have missed the ball on Agent Orange - but I guess you are paid to sound convincing when missing the ball.
[omitted] Helbig another Vet [sic] for Kerry
Also curious, your bio does not mention that you actually took and passed a single science course – were you one of those lawyers who avoided learning science?
For those of you who have personal experiences to share with Michael Fumento, his e-mail address is above – flood his mailbox – of course, he will still consider to [sic] miss the ball [sic]
Dear Mr. Helbig:
I'm sure President Bush is glad to have you on the other side. You say I missed the ball on Agent Orange, but in no way do you say how. That can only be interpreted as you don't like my conclusions but cannot contest the science that led to them. You accuse me of writing for pay, without so much as hinting as to who might be paying me and what their motivations might be. The government is immune from lawsuits and as I noted in the piece is all too eager to pay disability where none is warranted. The chemical companies settled their case decades ago. My bio as displayed on my website is intentionally kept to less than a single page, while my resume is well over 20. The bio doesn't list any courses I took, science or otherwise. It does however list the huge number of publications I've written for worldwide and that I received a National Magazine award nomination for a piece on "Son of Agent Orange," so-called "Gulf War Syndrome." It also lists that I've published no fewer than five science books, which I daresay is five more than you have published. One of those books, Science Under Siege, has one entire chapter on Agent Orange and another on dioxin.
Finally, I love these threats to "flood" my email box. It's as if I don't know my keyboard has a delete key. You guys can rant for an hour (and sometimes do) and I can delete it in half a second without even reading it. To the extent I do read and reply, since you have nothing to teach me and refuse to learn yourself, it's because it's all wonderful entertainment for my hate mail pages - as your vacuous letter will be.
Very Slight Mental Capacity
What exactly are your qualifications to disseminate the erroneous and misleading information I have read? You quite obviously never served in Vietnam; being Army Airborne certainly doesn't qualify you for anything resembling intelligence; being a "senior fellow" at the Hudson Institute likewise does nothing to credit you with any credibility or qualifications for your prattling; and most definitely being a syndicated columnist for an obscure news service would tend to cause anyone with the slightest mental capacity to seriously question the veracity of anything you ever wrote.
So tell us, please, what are your qualifications?
Sir, I presented references to numerous studies and repeatedly cited statistics from the most recent Ranch Hand study. Yet you insist I "present views and opinions as 'facts' while totally lacking any supporting, documented evidence. You on the other hand don't even pretend to cite a single study or statistic to refute me. Instead, you attack my qualifications even as you give none of your own. You know my qualifications from my bio and if it's so easy to be a scholar at Hudson, I suggest you apply. As to Scripps Howard, if a coterie of over 400 newspapers is "obscure," what isn't? Finally, when you say "anyone with the slightest mental capacity [would] seriously question the veracity of anything you ever wrote," I trust you are referring to yourself. "Slightest" is the very word I would have used.
Jerry, get a life - and try to leave others' alone. What makes you believe I care about what you think when nobody else does?
Because there are several hundred thousand men who think like I do. Compared to a handful that would agree with you.
If there were several hundred thousand men in this country who think like you do, this nation would be more backward than Afghanistan under the Taliban. [My word processing dictionary wanted to change "Taliban" to "Tailbone."] Now you can keep writing, but I'll bet I can delete faster than you can type.
Subj: do you really enjoy attacking veterans
It is amazing to everybody, that think tank gave you a job... My step dad died from complications of Agent Orange Exposure [sic] ... A rear cancer... [Huh?]
Most of my buds are ill or dead from Desert Duty... So Mr. Michael Fumento, one day you will answer to a Holy [sic] God [A holy God? Is there more than one?], for all you have done to sell your books and spread lies. Just Interesting [sic] ... Mikey H. USAF Medically Retired
I don't enjoy attacking veterans, which is why I don't. I prefer reassuring them that people like you are lying to them when you say that they are at increased risk for disease and death when they are not. If I also said there's no scientific evidence that vets were being abducted by UFOs and given anal probes, would that be attacking them? Wait; don't answer that!
Insofar as nobody has ever died of complications from "Agent Orange Exposure," then your stepfather didn't. He just died, like we all do. If by "rear cancer" you mean "colorectal," then you're talking about a disease that claims over 50,000 Americans a year of whom only a handful have so much as been to Vietnam. And no, most of your buds are not ill or dead from "Desert Duty," by which you apparently mean Desert Storm or Desert Shield. Unless you're in your seventies or later or on death row, most of your "buds" aren't dead at all. And finally, as to your invoking God, the Bible says blessed are the meek, the peacemakers, and the poor, but there's no mention of the stark raving mad.
I know that sounds mean, people like you have no soul and I leave with this...
Luke 12: 5 [sic] But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
If you fail to get repent and apologize to all the people you wrong for a paycheck, guess what (?) Something to ponder when you go to attack veterans and their familles... [sic] Revelation 20: [omitted]
I do have relatives serving in Iraq but they are men, not wimps. As to your referring to yourself as "we all," I believe perhaps you are what Christ encountered in Mark 5:1-21 when a crazed man approached him:
Then He asked him, "What is your name?" And [the crazed man] answered, saying, "My name is Legion; for we are many." Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. So all the demons begged Him, saying, "Send us to the swine, that we may enter them." And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.
In other words, Legion, do the world a favor and find yourself a nice herd of swine and run into the sea. I don't doubt anyone will slow your progress by throwing pearls before you.
Get thee behind me, Satan! Stop trying to tempt me into lying to justify your malicious ends. You aren't a dark knight; you represent the Prince of Darkness. [Two can play this game, eh?]
The word is is [sic] out on you... I wasn't baiting you, you are skilled at spin and double speak. I come from a long line of veterans dating back to the Crusades. You Sir [sic] are not fit to shine their shoes... As long you work for masters and attack veterans and their families for a paycheck... One 20 Year [sic] Career [sic] Veteran [sic] to [sic] 4 year G. I., I rest my case.... This is my last to [sic], all the Veterans [sic] said was worth the energy.... Salute
Actually, I never cared much for shoe shining so that's fine by me. And somehow I don't think you trump me because you allegedly had more time in service than I did. All that means is that, well, you had more time in service than I did. That's assuming you served at all, which I doubt. Finally, as to your alleged lineage, just which crusaders would those be? The ones who massacred Jews enroute to the Holy Land? Or perhaps it would be the ones who ostensibly went to save Constantinople from the Muslims but instead sacked it of its treasures and killed innocent Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike? Personally, I'd rather be descended from a long line of horse thieves.
I'm sorry I won't be hearing from you anymore, but as you said at least "all the Veterans said it was worth the energy." Didn't you have trouble reading those millions of emails, though?
In Uncle Ho We Trust
Your diatribe goes all over the map without actually substantiating anything. You forgot to mention the incidence of athlete's foot among Agent Orange victims relative to the population at large. Sheesh...
If you want to see what Agent Orange does to human beings aand [sic] the environment, go to these web sites:
http://www.vietnamfriendship.org/fmn.htm From this site, you can order an amazing video titled THE FRIENDSHIP VILLAGE. Get it, if you have the guts to be exposed (pardon the pun) to something that contradicts your exalted views.
Marilynn from Mendocino County, the first jurisdiction in the United States to ban genetically engineered crops! HERE'S TO ALL THAT IS TRUE AND BEAUTIFUL! HERE'S TO LIFE!
With agbiotech opponents like you, it's obvious why the industry is growing by the year both here and abroad. Why is it that you so-called vets and supporters of vets are so quick to trust propaganda from the Democratic People's Republic of Vietnam? No, we're no longer at war with them but they are still communist and these are still the people who routinely committed the horrific atrocities such as the slaughter of thousands of civilians during their brief 1968 occupation of Hue. But now they're the good guys, huh? As it happens, we know more about the "so-called" Ranch Handers than your speculation. For example, they've been interviewed about how they were exposed. They had no reason to think AO was dangerous to humans and so they did not routinely wear the equipment you suppose they did. Often enough when they sprayed the wind blew it back on them. As the book Stolen Valor notes, they often caught ground fire when spraying and were thoroughly doused. But we don't even need those interviews. Believe it or not, somebody actually had the foresight to test dioxin levels in the Ranch Handers blood and compare it all those GIs on the ground who swear up and down they were doused with the stuff. You can find one such study here.
And guess what else it found? All those guys on the ground who were "doused with the stuff" had levels of dioxin exposure far below that of the Ranch Handers and no higher than American civilians at the time. (Yes, I'm perfectly aware that you never heard of dioxin being in anything other than in AO. But it used to be in many chemicals to which we were commonly exposed, including an antibiotic called hexachlorophene. This in turn was an ingredient in such soaps as Dial and PhisoHex, both of which I used as a kid. So I've got dioxin in me, but I hardly lose sleep over it.) In fact, because dioxin is stored in fat and metabolizes so slowly, to this very day we can measure it in vets and calculate back to how much exposure they had in Vietnam.
So you can trust in your beloved mass-murdering communist government, but I'll stick to the studies thank you very much. HERE'S TO TRUTH!
I don't know how you became "perfectly aware" of what I have heard about, but that statement is just another example of your flawed "thought" process – brain damage from gargling phisohex [sic], no doubt. Next time read the label. You are truly pathetic. When you finish your night school course in logic, maybe it will all make sense.
My final words: I support the cause of peace, but I am not a martyr. I shall fight you and your ilk to the end of my days. You stand for everything that is destroying the earth we all share. My children and grandchildren will pay the price of your stupidity and greed AND THAT MAKES ME A WARRIOR.
Sorry, but you got it crooked. I made no mention of industry and neither did you. My reference to communism was entirely based on your taking at face value propaganda produced by a communist government, the very one that killed 56,000 of our soldiers in the name of "liberation" only to enslave all of South Vietnam and contribute to the enslavement of Laos and Cambodia. Do you list among your industry enemies anybody who has ever managed that?
"Why would anyone who takes the word of a self-regulated industry actually do some personal research on an issue?" Perhaps because I don't. I cited numerous studies in the original article, none of which were done by industry. I gave you a new cite in my reply, also done independently. It remains obvious that I have researched the issue (two chapters on it alone in my 1993 book Science Under Siege) and that you have not. You just know that industry is evil and communists are very trustworthy people, even though it's in their obvious interest to pretend we caused lasting harm to them. And so they go about claiming that each defective child was made that way by Agent Orange even though many are from the north, where no defoliants were sprayed. Whoops!
You fight no one, woman. You blather and you whine and break bread with the enemies of the real warriors. You are in fact the quintessential spoiled rotten denizen of Mendocino County, known to have more lazy whining spoiled rich brats per square meter than any other part of the country. You're just a cliché on two chubby pink legs.
Subj: YO KNUCKLE HEAD
what [sic] planet have you been living on? agent [sic] orange [sic] is the real deal. how [sic] in the name of God can you present an article like this.i [sic] am a viet [sic] vet [sic] and i [sic] have seen the effects of "agent [sic] orange [sic]" on myself and many others that fought in Vietnam, i [sic] know all to [sic] many of my brothers that have died from exposure to dioxin's [sic]. Maybe[sic] you should take a trip to Vietnam, and see the people their [sic], and how it has damaged their lives and their land! i [sic] wouldn't be surprised if a few Viet vets didn't drop by and kick your behind! your [sic] another example of why Vietnam veterans have such anger towards this government and country that they fought so proudly for... hang your head in shame "fumento", [sic] for you know not what your [sic] talking about . agent [sic] orange [sic] has killed and will go on killing Viet vet's [sic] and their children for many years to come....... if i [sic] was [sic] chief editor of your paper, i'd [sic] fire your ass on the spot!
tim o'rourke...... u.s. [sic] army [sic]/ Vietnam vet.. proudly served this country 1968/ 1971
You pig's knuckle! What planet have you been living on? Three million people bravely served our country in its time of need in Vietnam. When they came back they didn't ask for victory parades with ticker tape or anything more than they had been promised such as the GI Bill. But what they got was spat upon and called baby killers by people like Hanoi Jane and you. Then opponents of the war got a new idea, to blame the soldiers for spraying Agent Orange they claimed was killing not only all that wonderful jungle that allowed the enemy to hide but also disfiguring Vietnamese children. They didn't need proof and indeed never found it. It was enough to make the claim, and indeed the spraying stopped and Charlie got his old hiding places back several years before our troops left. The lack of Agent Orange killed Americans. But worst of all, Ho Chi Minh's American fifth column then began claiming the Agent Orange was also harming our own soldiers and even their offspring. The more informed vets who have done their reading know that Agent Orange poses no harm to them, but there remain countless others who still live in terror that something they probably didn't even have contact with poses a threat to their health and lives. When is enough enough? When are you and Jane Fonda's other brethren going to allow these people to live in peace? They are heroes. They deserve the thanks of a grateful nation, not vicious taunts of "You shouldn't have served! Now you're going to get sick!" You didn't proudly serve your country; you proudly served Uncle Ho and his successors and with your wholly unsubstantiated claims of AO-caused sickness in the Vietnamese people you continue to serve them.
i [sic] spat on no one when i [sic] arrived home from nam, [sic] but was spat upon myself in calif. [sic] and i [sic] hate jane [sic] fonda [sic] and all the other creeps that called us baby killers, i [sic] am a viet [sic] vet and i [sic] am proud. but you are so wrong about agent [sic] orange [sic], blue [sic], red [sic] and all the dioxions [sic] that were sprayed upon us and the country! i [sic] do not know your age, or if you are a vet.. but you may wish to move to VIETNAM as soon as possible... they need assholes like you their [sic], you sound like a communist!!! god [sic] bless america [sic] and god bless all vietnam [sic] veterans... sprayed and betrayed!!!
I was only 13 when the last troops came home from Vietnam, but enlisted on my 18th birthday and became a paratrooper. I also had SF and Recondo training. I lived in a campus town when I was a child, and everybody hated the GIs but me. Even as a ten-year-old I defended them and I defend them now. Vietnam vets are among the most successful people in this country today. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese continue to live under the yoke of oppression and blame all of their self-made problems on the U.S. They have no more birth defects than anybody else, but they lie and say all their birth defects are due to our soldiers spraying Agent Orange. And people like you perpetuate those lies. You repeat communist propaganda even as Hanoi Jane and John Kerry did. You need to do some deep reflecting. Just whose side are you on?
You are doing a HUGE disservice to not only the Veterans [sic], but the People [sic] of the United States on the whole by using your ideology to replace common sense in the minds of others and further dividing the country over an issue which evidently NEVER [sic] be laid to rest, the Vietnam War.
I don't know how you got to the point where you would denigrate those who have been stricken, but if you truly "believe" what you have said, then I must bring to your attention Project 112/SHAD, which acted [sic] concurrently under Secretary McNamara from 1962 to 1973 to utilize more than 10,000 U.S. Servicemen [sic] from all branches as HUMAN TEST RATS in order to "develop" most of the Bio-Chemical [sic] threats you now "think" are non-existent.
BEFORE you rail against my remarks, please be aware that the U.S. Congress evidently thought my views are accurate in that they PASSED Senate Bill 1156 - Section 102 in December, intended to "get the ball rolling"....30 to 40 years after the fact...for the remaining subjects of this insanity.
Sincerely, J.B. Stone
PS: You can rejoice in the fact that my own VA [sic] Disability Claim [sic] .....which I have been fighting since 1970 to get approved....has been once more "denied" on the basis of the 28 physical ailments I listed, but was "approved" on the issue of PTSD. And that, my friend, is NOT "all in my head".
[He then sent a different message entitled, "Even Liberal Pukes Disagree with You!" It was from the Vietnam News Service and related John Kerry's experience with seeing planes spreading defoliant, although Kerry never claimed to have been exposed. Kerry is, however, a proponent of the Agent Orange nonsense.]
Dear Mr. Stone,
What you're saying with that article you sent from your favorite news source, the official news service of the People's Democratic Republic of Vietnam, is that "Even liberal pukes agree with J.B. Stone's position." You and John Kerry are in the sack together.
Agent Orange is not a "common sense" issue; it is a scientific one. Either it does or it does not cause disease. The studies show it does not, and that's the end of the story. There should be no politics involved, no whimpering, and no demands of "Gimme, gimme, gimme!" If no one is suffering ill effects from Agent Orange then no one should be compensated for such effects, especially under a system that says they need not even show they were exposed.
The first hint that you have no idea of what you're talking about with this "Project 112/SHAD," is that Defense Secretary Robert McNamara departed public office in 1968, not 1973. "SHAD" stands for "Shipboard Hazard and Defense." It did go from 1962 to 1973 with the vital purpose of trying to learn how to protect our military from bio-chemical attacks, a threat which we now know is all too real. According to the VA, "Simulants replaced actual chemical and biological warfare agents in most of these tests . . . but some plans involved the use of actual chemical and biological warfare agents. However, so far we have found no evidence to indicate that participation in Project SHAD caused harmful health effects at the time." Of course, you and your fellow conspiracy theory buddies would beg to differ.
The Senate Bill you refer to does make participants of SHAD "eligible for hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care," and suffers from exactly the same problem as Agent Orange compensation in that it does so "notwithstanding that there is insufficient medical evidence to conclude that such illness is attributable to such testing." Thus sailors sprayed with water that was used to simulate a chemical attack would be eligible for benefits.
Finally, I don't doubt you've been repeatedly turned down for your 28 (!) different claimed ailments, no doubt on the basis that they don't exist. And as for post traumatic stress disorder, you have it exactly backwards. PTSD is a real diagnosis that may reflect true trauma, but by definition it is all in your head.
[He responded with a rant so long it would eat up all the pixels in my computer, 3,900 words to be precise.]
[1,510 words omitted.]
Dear Mr. Kaatz:
To review 1.5 million articles, assuming you spent only 30 minutes on each and did not stop to eat, sleep, download Paris Hilton videos or anything else, it would take 31,250 days. That's 85.5 years. You are obviously a god or a super being from the Delta Quadrant. At the very least, you're the best graduate Evelyn Wood ever had. In any event, I am totally humbled and obviously in no position to contest anything you say.
Sincerely, Michael Fumento
P.S.: The comprehensive medical journal database Medline only lists only 5,881 articles that so much as contain the word "dioxin," a much smaller subset of which mention Agent Orange.
[He subsequently wrote back a thousand-word letter, utterly incognizant that I was making fun of him. And that's no fun at all.]
I don't know how many Nam vets that AO related cancer has killed. I think any studies should concentrate on actual combat troops rather than a combat theater as a whole. It should also take in family history. For instance, my family doesn't get cancer. We eventually get heart trouble, but no one in my family has ever had cancer.
So if I didn't get cancer from AO, does this mean AO isn't harmful? Studies are only as good as the people doing the research, and rely on who is funding them and if they are expected to find in favor of the group funding them.
Too many Nam combat vets get cancer to have it be considered normal attrition.
By the way, I've read a few of your hate mails. Only read a few. I don't believe a real combat vet would take the time to write such nasty letters with such foul language.
Dear Mr. Latham:
And to think that in the Army we always made fun of Marines as dumb! We actually knew better; nobody's dumber than somebody who jumps out of a perfectly good airplane. You raise many good points, but they've been dealt with.
You're right about the combat vets versus theater vets. The first major AO-cancer study in fact looked at all vets and then broke them down by categories. It found that among those who had served on land, there were no excess cancers. Nor was there an excess among sailors like the younger Zumwalt who served on river boats. The only excess was in the Blue Water Navy, the guys way off coast! The best explanation was that by the time the study was done, people were already getting cancers from AIDS. And the reputation the Navy has for having more than its share of homosexual men is a deserved one.
To this day, cancer rates and death rates overall among Viet vets are the same as among carefully matched vets who didn't deploy to Nam and much better than those of matched civilians. It just seems to you that vets are dying at a higher rate because naturally that's where you're paying the most attention.
Finally, you're right about the people who write in. Most I'm sure are not vets at all. As you know, men just love to brag about their time in service and their time in war when the closest they got was reading "Sgt. Stryker" comic books when they were kids. You need to read the book Stolen Valor, all about fake vets who time and again fool the media with their stories of tragedy and heroism. Fact is, most vets came back and adjusted quickly to civilian life and are on average far more successful in life than those who didn't go. You sound like one of them. Thanks for writing.